ft i-M / A
National An Agency
Endowment of the
for the Federal
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Recent national reports about the quality of education in the United States
both affirm the leadership that the National Endowment for the Humanities
has brought to the educational reform movement and remind those of us
who are actively engaged in humanities education that we must persevere
in our efforts to place history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other
humanities disciplines more firmly at the center of liberal learning. The
Endowment stands ready to assist teachers, scholars, and educational leaders
who share this conviction and who are committed to taking the steps necessary
to assure higher standards of teacher performance and student achievement.
To study the humanities is to contemplate both change and continuity
in human civilization from ancient times to the modern era. It is to cultivate
a disciplined way of studying, of ordering one's ideas and expressing them
with clarity. The Endowment's work is thus based on two premises: that
the humanities are a body of ideas and texts of lasting significance, and
that study of the humanities disciplines is a way of cultivating individual
knowledge within a context of enduring thought.
The guidelines for the grant programs described in this brochure are
unequivocal about the goals of humanities education, but they are flexible
about the means of achieving those goals. They recognize that success
depends on the vision, determination, and skill of educational leaders,
teachers, and scholars.
Those familiar with last year's edition of this brochure will note some
revisions. They will also find two special initiatives of particular interest:
Understanding America and Understanding Other Nations. In connection with
the first initiative, the division encourages proposals that will rekindle an
appreciation of the principles, events, and literary traditions that have
contributed to our nation's cultural heritage. In keeping with the second
initiative, the division solicits proposals that address the nation's critical
need to promote the study of foreign languages and, through them, foreign
cultures. Meanwhile, of course, the division continues to welcome a variety
of other proposals to strengthen the quality and raise the standards of
humanities instruction in our nation's schools, colleges, and universities.
Applicants interested in lists of recently funded projects are encouraged
to request them from any of the division's programs.
We encourage you to discuss with us your ideas for promising programs.
Pamela Glenn Menke
Division of Education Programs
The Division of Education Programs 5
I. Central Disciplines in Undergraduate Education 7
A. Improving Introductory Courses 7
B. Promoting Excellence in a Field 8
C. Fostering Coherence Throughout an Institution 9
D. Planning Grants 1 1
II. Humanities Instruction in Elementary and Secondary
A. Institutes for Teachers and Administrators 13
B. Collaborative Projects 15
C. Planning Grants 17
D. Conferences and Meetings 17
E. Independent Study in the Humanities 17
III. Exemplary Projects in Undergraduate and Graduate
A. Institutes for College and University Faculty 19
B. Consortial Projects 20
C. Other Initiatives 21
IV. Humanities Programs for Nontraditional Learners 23
V. Special Initiatives 25
A. Understanding America and Understanding Other Nations 25
B. Improving the Preparation of Teachers in the Humanities 26
C. High School Humanities Institutes at Historically Black Colleges
and Universities 27
D. Summer Workshops for High School and College Teachers at
Historically Black Colleges and Universities 27
E. The Bicentennial of the Constitution 28
F. The Columbian Quincentenary 28
VI. Eligibility 29
VII. The Review Process 30
VIII. Types of Grant Support 31
IX. Cost Sharing 32
X. Grant Period 32
XI. General Advice 32
XII. Other Endowment Programs 33
XIII. Deadlines 34
XIV. Staff 35
The Division of Education Programs
One of the Endowment's congressional mandates is "to initiate and sup-
port... programs to strengthen. ..the teaching potential of the United States
in the humanities...." Although this mandate is an important expression of
the nation's commitment to the health of the humanities, it is not meant
to imply that the work of the Endowment represents more than a small
part of the national effort to preserve, enlarge, and transmit knowledge in
the humanities. Endowment support is usually restricted to projects that
are exemplary, efficient in their use of human and material resources, and
of demonstrable importance to the nation.
The Endowment's Division of Education Programs makes grants to
elementary and secondary schools, two-year and four-year colleges, univer-
sities, academic and professional associations, and other educational institu-
tions. As with all Endowment-supported activities, such grants are limited
to projects that concentrate on the content and disciplines of the humanities.
This concentration distinguishes the Endowment's interest in education
from that of other foundations or agencies that focus on such areas as
pedagogical theory, research in educational methods, tests and measure-
ments, cognitive psychology, or student assistance.
Definition of the Humanities
In the act that established the National Endowment for the Humanities,
the term humanities includes, but is not limited to, the study of the following
disciplines: history; philosophy; languages; linguistics; literature; archaeol-
ogy; jurisprudence; the history, criticism, and theory of the arts; ethics;
comparative religion; and those aspects of the social sciences that employ
historical or philosophical approaches.
The Endowment sometimes supports projects in humanities disciplines
that are not explicitly enumerated in the orginal legislation — disciplines
such as the history of science and cultural anthropology. Proposals that
concentrate on the practice or performance of the arts, however, should
be addressed to the National Endowment for the Arts.
After reading these guidelines, a prospective applicant should draft a two-
or three-page description of the project for which the institution wishes to
seek support. This description should be sent to the program officer for
the program that seems most appropriate. If the project's place within the
division's categories of support is unclear, the applicant should send the
description to the director of the Division of Education Programs, who will
refer it to the appropriate program officer. So that staff members have
sufficient time to give the project thorough attention, this correspondence
should begin at least two or three months prior to the formal application
deadline. Applicants should not attempt to prepare a full proposal with
reference only to the general guidelines provided in this brochure.
Upon receipt of the short description, the Endowment staff will assess
the eligibility and competitiveness of the project and will call or write the
applicant about the proposal. If the project is eligible, the Endowment staff
member will send application forms and instructions and will encourage
the applicant to submit a draft of the proposal for further informal com-
ment. After this additional consultation with the staff, the applicant should
prepare a formal application using the appropriate forms.
Receipt of the application will be acknowledged by postcard within two
weeks after the application deadline. Applicants who do not receive such
an acknowledgment should call or write the Endowment as soon as possible.
The review of formal applications requires approximately six months.
Applicants are notified by letter once a decision has been reached.
I. Central Disciplines in Undergraduate
Grants under this program assist colleges and universities in their efforts
to establish or sustain the central role of the humanities in undergraduate
education. Endowment funds may be used to augment an institution's
commitment to the humanities, to improve the quality of the material
studied, and to strengthen students' understanding of the substance and
methods of the disciplines of the humanities. The Endowment is especially
interested in activities that promise to bring about long-term institutional
improvements in the effectiveness with which the humanities are taught —
whether in a particular field or program or as part of an institution's general
In this program, Endowment funds may be requested to support a wide
variety of costs — for example, faculty development activities (including
seminars, workshops, sabbaticals, and summer stipends), course revisions,
library acquisitions, visiting scholars, consultants, and travel — provided that
these costs are part of a cogent and efficient plan to make teaching and
learning in the humanities more effective.
An application for funding should be supported by a clear intellectual
justification of the proposed project, consistent with a given institution's
conception of the proper place of the humanities within its educational
mission. An application should also explain why the proposed activities —
such as those leading to course and faculty development — fall outside the
routine responsibility of faculty members and why these activities cannot
be supported in full by the institution itself.
Although skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking
are essential for the study of the humanities, Endowment support is usually
not provided for courses that deal primarily with the development of those
skills. Nor is it available for projects focusing primarily on pedagogical
methods or educational technology. Exceptions may sometimes be made
for projects involving foreign languages, logic, or bibliographic instruction.
Applicants should consult with NEH staff when considering such projects.
A. Improving Introductory Courses
Grants in this category help institutions make lower-division courses in the
humanities more effective, either as part of a general or professional edu-
cation program or as part of a major. Support is available for the develop-
ment and improvement of courses that require students to study significant
works in the humanities, write a substantial number of critical papers, or
master the rudiments of one or more of the humanities disciplines. Proposed
projects should be designed to ensure that the most qualified faculty mem-
bers teach introductory courses and that the evaluation of student achieve-
ment is thorough. Applicants may also propose activities that will foster
greater cooperation between libraries and humanities departments. Appli-
cations should demonstrate that the proposed activities will prepare students
to use library resources more effectively for the study of the humanities.
Normally, the Endowment's contribution for grants in this category will
not exceed 70 percent of total project costs. Applicants are encouraged to
consider requesting federal matching funds (described on page 3 1 ) for part
of the cost of their projects.
A large midwestern university currently offers a U.S. history course that
many students choose to satisfy a general education requirement. This
course has traditionally been taught by teaching assistants or postdoctoral
fellows. The regular history faculty have decided to take over the teaching
of the course and to restructure it around primary sources. NEH funds
will permit released time for course planning and a summer workshop for
faculty development in the area of social history. In addition, an outstanding
scholar on the U.S. Constitution will be invited to campus during the
academic year to speak to classes and to give a public lecture highlighting
the bicentennial of the Constitution.
A community college with a largely vocational curriculum has recently
increased the number of humanities courses required for the associate's
degree. Students are now required to take courses in history, literature,
and philosophy and to write a series of critical papers. In addition, the
faculty has decided to revise the literature and philosophy courses in order
to concentrate on primary texts in their entirety and to redesign the history
course along equally rigorous lines. The institution seeks support to bring
prominent scholars to the campus to work with faculty members on the
design of these courses and to conduct summer workshops on the major
texts and ideas to be explored in the courses. Released time and stipends
for the summer workshops are requested to support the faculty members
involved in the project.
B. Promoting Excellence in a Field
Grants in this category are designed to help individual departments and
programs within the humanities in their efforts to foster greater depth in
particular fields of study. A department or program must first demonstrate
that it has recently undertaken serious and promising efforts to strengthen
teaching in its discipline or field. Support may then be requested for any
activity that promises to enlarge the impact of previous efforts: to encourage
faculty members to become more conversant with the texts, scholarship,
and methodologies of their fields; to make courses more rigorous and
programs or majors more coherent; to increase the teaching effectiveness
of faculty and graduate students; and to facilitate faculty participation in
Normally the Endowment's contribution for a proposal in this category
will not exceed 70 percent of total project costs. Applicants are encouraged
to consider requesting federal matching funds (described on page 3 1 ) for
part of the cost of their projects.
A middle-sized private college has decided to expand its area studies pro-
gram. It requests support for a series of activities to enhance the teaching
of languages and area studies. Among other things, the college wishes to
establish several centers in Europe where its faculty and students may
engage in intensive language study in the context of the culture defined
by a given language. Faculty who have spent time at these centers will
integrate foreign language materials into their on-campus courses, giving
students the opportunity to study other cultures in a variety of departments.
A series of summer faculty seminars, devoted to important texts in interna-
tional studies and in East Asian studies, will provide additional opportunities
for faculty development.
A public liberal arts college whose faculty have heavy teaching loads had
experienced a decline of student interest in the study of literature. Reduc-
tions in the size of the English department faculty had forced many faculty
members to teach outside their own areas of expertise. Attempting to
generate more student interest, the department had begun to emphasize
contemporary literature and special topics in its courses, but this practice
had led to an even greater decline in the number of students enrolling in
advanced-level courses. As a result, the English faculty revised the major,
focusing on a sequence of courses about important literary works of the
medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Romantic periods. Students in
these courses now read works in their entirety and write a substantial
number of critical papers. In addition to satisfying requirements for the
major, these courses can be taken to satisfy general education requirements
in the humanities. Faculty members have used sabbatical leaves and sum-
mers in the past three years to increase their knowledge of the primary
and secondary materials related to the new offerings. The results appear
to be successful: English majors have become demonstrably better prepared,
more students are choosing to major in English, course requirements have
become more stringent, faculty members have improved their teaching,
and enrollments have increased. The department now asks for a grant to
establish a stronger sabbatical program for department members and to
sponsor a series of lectures by distinguished speakers. The proposal includes
a description of the institution's plan to continue these activities beyond
the grant period.
C. Fostering Coherence Throughout an Institution
Grants in this category are designed to further the work of institutions that
have made a commitment to strengthening the fields of the humanities
and to securing for them a central place in undergraduate education. These
grants are intended both for liberal arts institutions with humanities cur-
ricula that account for a large part of the students' course work and for
units of multipurpose institutions in which humanities curricula, because
they account for a small portion of the students' course work, are the
primary means of introducing both the substance of the humanities and
the larger objectives of general education.
An institution applying for support in this category must already have
developed, with the participation of senior administrative officers, a com-
prehensive plan for humanities education. Applicants should first indicate
the steps their institution has taken to strengthen its undergraduate pro-
grams in the humanities. For example, an institution might cite its recent
efforts to encourage the study of history, literature, and foreign languages;
to insist on a greater amount of expository writing by all students; and to
ensure that all humanities course syllabi are rigorous and are rooted in
A proposal should provide the intellectual rationale for the institution's
requirements in the humanities and explain how the proposed activities
would help the institution achieve its larger goals. A statistical profile of
the institution should be appended to the proposal, describing recent pat-
terns in enrollment, course offerings, and faculty-student ratios. Where
appropriate, the proposal should also indicate faculty responsibilities within
the institution's general education program, for both humanities and
The institution's commitment should be reflected in substantial cost
sharing; only in exceptional cases will the Endowment's contribution exceed
50 percent. Applicants are usually expected to seek support for part of
their projects through federal matching funds.
A public university with a reputation for excellence in its engineering and
other professional programs has made a commitment to bring its humanities
departments to the same level of excellence. To accomplish this goal, it has
instituted a foreign language requirement through the intermediate level;
created a new major in comparative literature and foreign languages;
developed a series of writing-intensive, discipline-based, freshman seminars
to be taught by experienced faculty members; and put into place a general
education program that includes a sequence of core courses. Endowment
funds are used to support semester visits by outstanding scholars in the
humanities who teach classes in the new major and in the core curriculum,
conduct faculty workshops that focus on texts to be taught in these areas,
and serve on the core curriculum committee. Grant funds also provide
initial support for new tenure-track positions in ancient history and
A small liberal arts college has developed a new set of graduation require-
ments that includes a required, year-long freshman seminar emphasizing
a selected number of major literary texts, and a two-semester Western
civilization sequence for sophomores. The college also hopes to develop
and require a senior seminar in philosophy, but at present it relies on
adjunct professors for many of its offerings in that discipline. Although
the college's commitment to the new graduation requirements is strong, it
has no formal sabbatical program to permit the necessary faculty develop-
10 ment. The Endowment provides initial, partial support for a sabbatical
program and also for a tenure-track position in philosophy, both of which
the college has agreed to sustain after the funding period. In addition, the
Endowment supports a series of consulting visits by distinguished scholars
who conduct workshops for faculty who teach the courses now required
D. Planning Grants
Modest support for planning is available in each of the three categories of
this program. Planning grants may be requested to cover the costs of con-
sultants or other expenses related to the early stages of projects. Planning
grants may not be used to support the writing of proposals for further
Endowment support; they are intended to support projects that have intrin-
sic value independent of any subsequent requests for funding. A proposal
for a planning grant must be submitted within one of the categories of the
Central Disciplines Program at a regular postmark deadline. The same
criteria for review apply to proposals for planning grants as to those for
other grants within the Central Disciplines Program.
A history faculty at a large public university requests support for a consultant
in the Promoting Excellence in a Field category to advise them about how
best to reshape their curriculum in an effort to make it more comprehensive.
A college seeks support in the Fostering Coherence Throughout an Institu-
tion category for released time for a faculty committee engaged in revising
the college's general education program. The committee will assess which
departments in the college require new faculty positions to support the
program, and it will draft the general education proposal upon which the
college's faculty will vote during the subsequent academic term.
Questions for Review of Applications (in all three categories of the Central
Disciplines in Undergraduate Education Program)
(1) Is the proposal conceptually sound?
(2) In what way will the project lead students to study significant primary
texts in the humanities, learn to analyze those texts, and write more
effective critical papers? Will the project lead to a greater number of
experienced faculty teaching introductory courses?
(3) Is the project director a faculty member or administrator whose exper-
tise is in one of the fields of the humanities?
(4) How precisely does the proposal define the purpose of the faculty
development activities (such as released time, summer stipends, sabbat-
ical leaves, or travel to professional meetings) for which it seeks sup-
port? In what ways do these activities fall outside the realm of normal
faculty and institutional responsibilities? 11
(5) How cost effective is the project? Is the budget appropriate for the
scope of the proposed activities? How persuasive is the evidence that
the institution will sustain the proposed program after the NEH grant
(6) How will the results of the project be evaluated? What use will be
made of the results of the evaluation?
(7) What steps is the institution or department taking to ensure that
substantial attention is given to written and oral expression in all of
its courses? Will the institution require teachers to read and comment
extensively on students' written work?
(8) How has the institution already improved the quality and significance
of the material that its students are expected to study? If the proposal
is for course development, what kind of evidence does it provide — such
as syllabi or tentative reading lists — that the new project will result in
(9) Does the proposal provide evidence — such as reports from a cur-
riculum committee, votes of the faculty governing body, or accounts
of administrative actions — that the institution has developed a cohe-
rent and feasible plan to strengthen instruction in the humanities? If
appropriate, has the institution outlined the further steps necessary
for approval by the faculty, the state legislature, or the board of trus-
(10) How has the institution addressed such frequently encountered stu-
dent problems as present-mindedness, narrow vocationalism, and
limited cultural perspective? In what ways will the project enable it to
(11) Does the institution have a system for rewarding excellence in teach-
ing? How is teaching effectiveness reflected in promotion and tenure
policies and in committee assignments? What financial support does
the institution provide for faculty development?
(12) Do the institution's grading practices demonstrate a commitment to
II. Humanities Instruction in Elementary
and Secondary Schools
Grants under this program support projects designed to increase the effec-
tiveness with which the humanities are taught in our nation's elementary,
middle, and secondary schools. The purpose of the program is to strengthen
instruction principally through teacher training and in-service activities.
Applicants may be individual schools, school systems, colleges, universities,
museums, libraries, or groups of institutions working in collaboration. A
proposal is expected to demonstrate a commitment to increasing the
teachers' knowledge in the fields of the humanities and to strengthening
the intellectual capabilities imparted by effective study of the humanities.
A. Institutes for Teachers and Administrators
Institutes for teachers and administrators are intended to provide intensive
residential study and appropriate follow-up activities for groups of
humanities teachers, administrators, or combinations of the two. Generally
the size of an institute does not exceed forty-five participants. Institutes
focus on important texts and ideas in the humanities and on the most
effective ways of teaching them. They provide a rigorous four- week pro-
gram of high-level intellectual activity that includes expository writing,
study of primary sources, and exposure to superior scholarship. The subject
of an institute should relate either to the disciplines and topics most com-
monly taught in the schools or to disciplines and topics related to the respon-
sibilities of teachers in a particular region or setting. Most institutes are
conducted by colleges and universities, but large school systems are also
eligible to apply. The leadership of an institute should be in the hands of
recognized scholars in the field, working in tandem with outstanding
teachers and administrators familiar with the settings in which participants
work. Both the schools represented and the institution hosting the institute
should agree to implement the plans developed by the teachers during the
institute. An application to conduct an institute should describe in detail
the plan for selecting participants, the intellectual context and content of
the project, and the degree to which the subject is integral to the curriculum
in the schools that will benefit from the chosen institute.
Schools and school systems should be asked to endorse the project. Schools
from which participants are finally selected are expected to contribute to
the costs of the institute (e.g., for one institute, schools may be expected
to make a $200 cash contribution to the sponsoring institution for each
participating teacher). Generally, the Endowment's share of the total costs
of an institute will not exceed 80 percent.
Stipends, travel expenses, and room and board for participants are among
the costs that are eligible for support. Institutions applying to conduct
institutes are encouraged to consider seeking federal matching support
(described on page 31) for part of their projects.
In an effort to reinvigorate the teaching of Spanish in the schools, university
scholars and master teachers from area high schools conduct a four-week
summer institute for thirty teachers of Spanish from a five-state area. The
institute includes history lectures and small-group literature discussions to
be conducted in Spanish. The participants write a number of short essays
in Spanish. Native speakers associated with the university work closely with
the participants on their pronunciation and writing. The institute includes
discussion of ways to improve instruction in Spanish language, literature,
and history in the schools. During the academic year following the institute,
the institute's leaders visit each participant's class at least three times.
Twenty-five high school principals from a five-state area spend three weeks
on a university campus exploring issues involving the individual and society.
Under the guidance of university faculty and master teachers, the principals
read texts by authors ranging from Plato and Aristotle to Machiavelli and
John Stuart Mill. They attend lectures, participate in discussion groups
about the texts they have read, and formulate plans to improve the teaching
of these and other humanities texts in their schools. These plans are re-
viewed by university faculty and are then revised in subsequent meetings
after the participants have returned to their home institutions. During the
following year, the principals meet with their humanities faculty to discuss
ways of incorporating their plans into the curriculum. As part of the follow-
up activities, the principals meet at the National Association of Secondary
School Principals' convention to conduct a workshop on "Improving the
Quality of Humanities Instruction in the Schools: Teachers and Adminis-
trators Working Together."
Questions for Review of Applications
(1) Is the application conceptually sound?
(2) Is the focus of the project clearly on history, literature, foreign lan-
guages, or another humanities discipline?
(3) How rigorous is the academic program? How well planned is the
schedule of activities? How comprehensive is the bibliography?
(4) To what degree is the subject to be studied during the institute an
integral part of the curriculum in the schools in which the participants
(5) To what extent have teachers and principals been involved in planning
(6) Do the proposed leaders of the institute demonstrate expertise in the
subject? Do the master teachers have a record of effectiveness in
teaching the humanities?
(7) Does the proposed institute provide the participant with ample time
14 for small group discussion?
(8) How well do the plans for selecting participants serve the purpose of
(9) How effectively will the proposed activities contribute to the partici-
pants' knowledge of the subject and their ability to teach it?
( 1 0) How demanding are the activities required of the participants follow-
ing their return to their schools?
(11) Is the proposed evaluation plan for the institute appropriate? What
use does it make of experts in the humanities disciplines? How will
the results of the evaluation be used?
(12) Is there evidence that the participants' institutions will contribute to
the costs of the project?
( 1 3) Are the project's activities accurately reflected in its proposed budget?
How cost effective is the project?
B. Collaborative Projects
This grant category is designed to help schools and school systems establish
relationships with neighboring colleges or universities that will lead to
improvements in the teaching of the humanities at the elementary and
secondary levels. The Endowment's premise is that inter-institutional collab-
oration is more difficult to initiate than to sustain; support from the NEH
is thus predicated on a commitment by the institutions to continue the
collaboration after Endowment funding ends. During the course of their
collaboration, schools and colleges are expected to develop activities that
will contribute to the participants' knowledge of the subjects they teach and
to their ability to teach them. Some activities should focus on expository
writing and on the study of primary sources.
A collaborative project may involve schools, school systems, colleges, and
universities (and perhaps libraries, museums, and other cultural institu-
tions) within a geographical region compact enough to permit frequent
interaction among the participants. One of the institutions involved in the
project should be designated as the applicant organization with responsibil-
ity for administering the project. Collaborative projects usually occur over
a period of three years, with Endowment support normally limited to 60
percent of total project costs. Applicants are encouraged to consider request-
ing federal matching support (described on page 31) for part of the cost
of their projects.
Scholars from a public university and teachers, principals, and the superin-
tendent from a large neighboring school district develop a joint program
to improve the schools' secondary literature and history courses. With
funding from the school system, the university, a community foundation,
and the Endowment, history and English faculty from the university work
with high school teachers to design a three-year project for all history and
literature teachers in the school system. During the summers, teachers 15
attend an institute on the reform impulse in American society and study
complementary themes in American fiction from the nineteenth century
to the present. The format incorporates practice in expository writing for
the participants. During the school year, the teachers and scholars meet
twice a month to pursue individual study, and members of the university
faculty give guest lectures as a regular part of the schools' instructional
program. The institute's subject matter is incorporated into the required
courses in American history and literature. The results of the project are
disseminated throughout the state by means of professional journals and
conferences. At the same time, the school district and the university commit
themselves to continue the program for at least three years after NEH
Teachers and administrators from a large school district and a consortium
of colleges and universities in the region plan and conduct a three-year
project to provide high school literature and social studies teachers with
training in the history and culture of the ancient world. The project focuses
on the literature, art, and intellectual history of the period from Homer
to Augustine. The program includes expository writing and the study of
significant documents. The school district's Latin teachers also participate
and study selected literature in Latin. The hundred participants (teams of
four from twenty-five selected schools) engage in an intensive summer
institute. A lecture series each summer is given by two classics scholars from
the consortium and a curator of ancient art at a local museum. During the
school year, this lecture series is modified and presented to the students
of the school district. In addition, the participants incorporate their new
knowledge into an expanded curriculum on the ancient world. The ex-
panded curriculum is disseminated in the twenty-five schools through staff
development programs led by the institute's participants. The school district
agrees to increase the amount of instruction in Latin available to the district's
Questions for Review of Applications
(1) Is the application conceptually sound?
(2) Is the focus of the project clearly on history, literature, foreign lan-
guages, or another humanities discipline?
(3) How well does the project contribute to the academic rigor of the
regular curriculum, in contrast to being an additional option within
or an enrichment of the regular curriculum?
(4) How deeply are classroom teachers and school leaders involved in the
development and implementation of the proposed project?
(5) Do the proposed leaders of the institute demonstrate expertise in the
subject? Do the master teachers have a record of effectiveness in
16 teaching the humanities?
(6) Does the proposed collaborative project provide the participants with
ample time for small-group discussion?
(7) How effectively will the proposed activities contribute to the partici-
pants' knowledge of the subject and their ability to teach it?
(8) How will the follow-up activities sustain intellectual and pedagogical
exchange among college and school personnel?
(9) What evidence does the application give that the new relationships
between schools and colleges are likely to continue after project fund-
(10) How well do the plans for selecting participants serve the purposes
of the project?
(11) Does the proposal provide an adequate dissemination plan?
( 1 2) Are project activities in consonance with the proposed budget? How
cost effective is the project?
(13) How will the success of the project be determined? What use will be
made of the results of the evaluation?
C. Planning Grants
Occasionally, planning grants will be awarded for the early stages of work
in developing collaborative projects. Funds in modest amounts may be
requested to support planning meetings, consultant services, and other
activities. Funds may not be requested for the development of subsequent
grant proposals; planning grants support only activities that have intrinsic
value independent of any subsequent requests for Endowment support.
D. Conferences and Meetings
Conference grants are available for institutions that wish to bring together
precollegiate and collegiate faculty to discuss important humanities topics
and issues and to explore ways of improving humanities instruction in the
schools. Conference proposals must reflect the highest standards of scholar-
ship; they must address specific instructional needs; and they must include
a far-reaching dissemination plan. Special consideration will be given to
applications that demonstrate how such conferences will strengthen and
improve existing humanities projects.
E. Independent Study in the Humanities
The Endowment has awarded a grant to the Council for Basic Education
to support a program of summer fellowships for high school teachers with
at least five years of teaching experience. The intent of this program is to
provide an opportunity for teachers to improve their knowledge of the 17
subjects they teach. Fellowships of $3,000 are available for experienced
teachers who wish to spend two months of independent study in one of
the disciplines of the humanities. For information about this program, write
to one of the following addresses:
Independent Study in the Humanities
Council for Basic Education
725 15th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
Independent Study in the Humanities
Princeton, New Jersey 08541
III. Exemplary Projects in Undergraduate
and Graduate Education
Grants under this program support colleges, universities, cultural institu-
tions, and professional organizations in their efforts to strengthen the
knowledge and thus the teaching of faculty in the humanities. Support is
available under three broad headings: institutes, consortial projects, and
other initiatives. These categories are not intended to be thought of as
mutually exclusive; they are designed to foster a range of activities that
includes but is by no means limited to institutes, conferences, and work-
shops. Among other things, they are designed to encourage institutions or
organizations in collaborative efforts that promise to bring about significant
and broadly applicable improvements in the teaching of the humanities.
A. Institutes for College and University Faculty
Institutes for college and university faculty are designed to bring postsecon-
dary teachers together for several weeks to engage in intensive study of
texts, periods, ideas, and issues central to undergraduate and graduate
education in the humanities. By providing them with opportunities to study
under recognized scholars and collaborate with colleagues from other
institutions, such institutes encourage faculty members to approach their
teaching with fresh perspectives, new resources, and a deeper knowledge
of the most significant scholarship in a field of the humanities.
Institutes may be proposed by colleges, universities, cultural institutions,
or professional associations. They must be conducted at institutions with
libraries and other facilities adequate for advanced work and collegial
exchange in the subject under study. Institutes may include a variety of
activities, such as lectures, workshops, and seminars. They may also include
the preparation of annotated bibliographies and the development of teach-
ing materials. Although most institutes are focused on the texts, periods,
ideas, and issues central to undergraduate education in the humanities,
they may also focus on subjects and activities that promise to improve
graduate education or strengthen advanced research skills. The institute's
staff should be composed of scholars who are noted for both their research
and their teaching. The core staff may be drawn from several institutions
and may be supplemented by guest lecturers.
Institutes are usually held in the summer for periods of from four to
eight weeks, but they may also be conducted for more extended periods
during the academic year. Institute participation is limited to full-time
faculty members at universities and two- or four-year colleges, and their
institutions are expected to make a cash contribution toward the cost of
their participation, the exact sum depending on the length of the institute.
Participants receive stipends that vary according to the length of the insti-
tute. These stipends are intended to cover the costs of travel, room, and
board. The number of participants in a given institute is determined by
the sponsoring institution; it normally ranges between twenty and thirty.
Participants are selected by the staff of the institute. The cost of an institute
will depend on a number of variables, but potential applicants should note 19
that a six-week institute for twenty-five college and university faculty will
not normally receive more than $140, 000 in Endowment support.
Because of the significance of The Canterbury Tales for study of the culture
and literature of the Middle Ages, leading Chaucer scholars from five
universities collaborate to offer a six-week institute on this fourteenth-
century masterwork. The institute comprises two related activities: morning
sessions in which The Canterbury Tales are studied in their entirety, and
afternoon lectures that focus on aspects of the classical and medieval back-
grounds pertinent to the work. The institute is intended for thirty under-
graduate teachers who are not Chaucer specialists but whose teaching would
benefit from intensive study of Chaucer's writings in the light of the best
recent scholarship in the field of medieval studies.
Several scholars whose work has shed new light on Afro-American religious
history offer an institute that would enable those who teach religion and
religious history to have opportunities for extended study of new ap-
proaches to the subject. The forty faculty participants who complete the
institute will be able to revise their courses to reflect recent scholarship.
Some will add new material on Afro-American religious history to existing
survey courses in religion and in American history. Others will devise
seminars on Afro-American religion and culture for advanced students of
history and religion.
B. Consortial Projects
This category is designed to encourage collaborative efforts to enhance the
quality of humanities education on more than one campus. Such collabora-
tion should focus on issues of substance in the humanities and should draw
on the most significant scholarship in a given field to strengthen under-
graduate or graduate instruction. Projects may be designed to enhance the
inter-institutional coherence of humanities curricula, extend the range and
accessibility of programs and resources, or provide for inter-institutional
faculty development activities. The normal application procedure is for
one institution or system to be designated as the prospective grantee and
to administer the grant on behalf of all the participating institutions.
The academic vice presidents of a ten-campus state university system are
concerned about the level of proficiency their students acquire in their
study of foreign languages and cultures. In concert with the central admin-
istration of the university system, the vice presidents apply for and receive
Endowment support to create a systemwide Center for the Teaching of
Foreign Languages and Cultures. The center sponsors an inter-institutional
program for faculty development, including intensive summer study and
a faculty lecture series, to reinforce the teaching of foreign languages and
20 texts. The center also brings to several of the campuses visiting scholars
selected by individual departments. These scholars assist in evaluating
curricula and in developing strategies for the assessment of competency.
The vice presidents pool their resources to extend the center's program to
students, who will be offered opportunities for intensive summer study.
A museum possesses an extraordinary collection of nineteenth-century
French art. In a two-part project, the museum first organizes a conference
and workshop for faculty in history, art history, and French at colleges and
universities in its vicinity. Then, in the second phase, faculty capitalize on
the museum's collections to enhance their teaching of those courses that
deal with nineteenth-century France and its art.
C. Other Initiatives
Under this heading, the Endowment supports a variety of activities that
promise to increase the effectiveness with which the humanities are taught
at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Among the kinds of projects
that are eligible for support are conferences, workshops, and visiting scholar
programs. The Endowment especially encourages proposals for projects
designed to improve the preparation of graduate students to teach courses
in the humanities at both the secondary and undergraduate levels. The
Endowment also welcomes proposals from professional associations for
projects that will clarify and strengthen the role of particular disciplines in
undergraduate and graduate education. Applicants must demonstrate that
available personnel and institutional resources are appropriate to the goals
of the proposed project and that the project has strong potential for exten-
sion to a broad range of institutional settings.
In exceptional circumstances, the Endowment will provide partial support
for the development of teaching materials. Such materials must reflect the
highest standards of recent scholarship and must address a widely recog-
nized need. The Endowment will not support the writing or revision of
textbooks or the creation of materials that have the potential for commercial
production and distribution.
At a graduate institution that historically has been quite successful at training
young scholars for careers in undergraduate teaching, English faculty are
concerned that their present graduate students are frequently handicapped
by insufficient teaching experience when they enter the job market. The
graduate institution therefore arranges an exchange program with several
small colleges. Under this program, graduate students teach for a year
under the tutelage of a senior faculty member at one of the colleges. Mean-
while, regular faculty members from the colleges spend a year at the
graduate institution doing research, teaching one course, and participating
in a postdoctoral seminar with the graduate faculty. The Endowment pro-
vides support for administrative costs, faculty released time, travel, and
other expenses associated with the first two years of the program. 21
Several historians who believe that excessive specialization has fragmented
the teaching of American history plan a conference that will enable senior
faculty from around the country to reconsider undergraduate courses and
curricula in American history. Focusing on texts and topics that illustrate
the pluralism of American society, the sixty participants in the conference
consider strategies to bring greater coherence to the teaching of American
Questions for Review of Applications (in all three categories of the
Exemplary Projects in Undergraduate and Graduate Education Program)
( 1 ) In what respects is the project intellectually and educationally signif-
(2) What evidence does the application provide of the intellectual quality
of the proposed activities? Does the project incorporate the results of
the best scholarship in the field?
(3) How convincingly does the proposal justify the content and method
it seeks to advance?
(4) How cost effective will the project be?
(5) What are the qualifications and experience of the staff in relation to
the project's goals?
(6) How persuasively is the case made for the proposed activities in con-
trast to other possibilities? For example, is an institute called for, or
does the subject lend itself more appropriately to the publication of
a course guide?
(7) How thoroughly has the project been planned? If the applicant has
received grants for preparatory work, how has this work been
evaluated? Has it been found successful?
(8) How valuable are the proposed activities likely to be to those for whom
they were designed?
(9) How will the results of the project be apparent in other institutions?
Does the applicant provide a convincing plan to share the results of
the proposed activities with other appropriate institutions and organi-
(10) If a consortial project is proposed, does the application provide evi-
dence of commitment from all participating institutions?
(11) If teaching materials are involved, does the applicant provide evidence
that there is little or no potential for commercial production and
distribution of the materials?
( 1 2) How will the effects of the project be evaluated? How will the results
of the evaluation be used?
IV. Humanities Programs for Nontraditional
Grants under this program assist institutions interested in making education
in the humanities more accessible to adults who are not reached by the
traditional structures and programs of postsecondary education. The pro-
gram supports projects that will improve the quality of instruction and the
content and coherence of the humanities curricula in nontraditional learn-
ers programs. For the purposes of this grant category, nontraditional learn-
ers are defined as adults who pursue courses and other educational oppor-
tunities through evening or weekend offerings, assisted independent study,
and other programs of adult or continuing education.
Applications may originate from colleges, universities, libraries,
museums, or other cultural institutions. They may be directed to curricular
revision, to the improvement of instructional programs on a single campus,
to collaborative efforts among institutions, or to the preparation of materials
for use by many institutions. Although priority will normally be given to
programs or courses for credit, proposals for noncredit courses are also
eligible. The projects that make the most persuasive case for Endowment
support are those that provide to nontraditional students a curriculum and
a level of instruction equal in quality and rigor to that which can be found
in traditional programs.
Applicants may request as much as $ 1 50,000 for projects of up to three
years in length. The Endowment's contribution will normally not exceed
75 percent of total project costs. A grant may cover a variety of costs, among
them consultants, workshops, course materials, bibliographies and other
teaching materials, and released time for faculty development. All project
costs should be related to an effective plan to improve the quality of the
humanities instruction provided for nontraditional learners. Applicants are
encouraged to consider requesting federal matching funds (described on
page 31) for part of the cost of their projects.
The continuing education division of a liberal arts college recognizes that
its humanities offerings are few in number and limited in variety. Students
pursuing a degree in the division have far less choice available to them
than students in the traditional college programs. The division receives
support to review the current course offerings, plan a coherent curriculum,
and develop new courses.
A public university in a western state in which low population density
precludes the establishment of branch campuses develops a program of
humanities courses to be delivered by a combination of self-paced learning,
television coursework, and teleconferences. Local libraries serve as the focus
of operation. The Endowment supports released time for faculty members
to locate and select existing instructional materials and to develop additional
materials for the program. Endowment funds also provide a modest amount
for library acquisitions. 23
Questions for Review of Applications
(1) Is the project intellectually substantial and thoroughly grounded in
the scholarship of the humanities?
(2) How convincing is the evidence of need for these activities or materials
in programs for nontraditional learners?
(3) To what extent does the proposal emphasize intellectual rigor as a
proper expectation, rather than focusing only on broader dissemina-
tion? Does the proposal provide evidence that the planned activities
will bring to nontraditional learners programs an institution's best
(4) Does the application demonstrate that the strengthening of the
humanities content of the proposed project is of more importance
than the technical innovation involved?
(5) What evidence of experience and prior success in programs for non-
traditional learners does the applicant provide? Has the applicant
reviewed the experience of other institutions in developing similar
(6) If the proposal is for course development, what evidence (such as
syllabi and tentative reading lists) does the applicant provide of the
value of the new courses for the humanities curriculum? In what way
will the new courses become part of a coherent plan for humanities
(7) If the application concentrates on education in the humanities in a
single institution, what guarantees does the applicant offer for continu-
ing support of the proposed activities after the grant ends?
(8) How cost effective is the project? Is the budget appropriate for the
scope of the proposed activities?
(9) How will the effects of the project be evaluated? How will the results
of the evaluation be used?
V. Special Initiatives
A. Understanding America and Understanding Other
There is evidence that despite the resurgence of interest in basic education,
many Americans still know little about their own heritage and about the
languages and cultures of other nations. In an effort to reinvigorate the
teaching and learning of American history and culture and to encourage
the restoration of foreign language literacy in America, the Endowment
has recently announced two initiatives: Understanding America and Under-
standing Other Nations.
Through the initiative on Understanding America, the Endowment is seek-
ing to encourage proposals that will help Americans recapture for them-
selves and their posterity an understanding of the history and culture of
this country — the principles that fashioned it, the events that shaped it, the
people who built it, and the writers and other artists who have reflected on it.
The emphasis of the Understanding Other Nations initiative is on foreign
language, as a traditional entry point into the study of foreign cultures.
Through the study of a foreign language we can begin to understand the
literary, philosophical, and historical traditions that distinguish one nation
from another. Experience has shown, moreover, that knowledge of a
foreign language usually opens doors to many nations, not just one.
Proposals related to these two initiatives will be welcome in any of the
grant categories of the Division of Education Programs. In connection with
the Understanding America initiative, for example, the division will be recep-
tive to a variety of applications, among them proposals to
• develop collaboration among colleges, universities, and local schools in
efforts to achieve greater coherence in American history and literature
offerings, from the lowest grades through graduate school;
• assist schools and school systems that wish to strengthen the content and
quality of their American history curricula so that history is the central
component of course offerings rather than an element subsumed in more
diffuse social studies courses;
• restructure course offerings in schools of education, and in under-
graduate and graduate programs, to equip our future teachers with the
breadth of knowledge necessary to teach their students the full sweep of
American thought, literature, and history; and
• integrate the best of recent scholarship on particular groups, on immi-
grants, on minorities, and on women into the more traditional offerings
of American history, thus emphasizing the diversity as well as the unity
of the American experience.
In support of the Understanding Other Nations initiative, the division en-
courages proposals requesting support for such things as
• institutes for elementary and secondary school teachers and college and
university faculty in foreign language and area studies; 25
• the establishment of consortia of colleges and secondary schools to work
toward coherent language programs on a regional basis;
• the development of programs that offer language instruction and area
studies to adult learners whose educational needs cannot be met through
the traditional structures of higher education; and
• the establishment of study centers, both in this country and abroad, to
provide intensive work in the language and culture of other nations.
B. Improving the Preparation of Teachers in the Humanities
The Endowment supports efforts to improve the preparation of teachers
of the humanities in elementary and secondary schools. This initiative goes
beyond the Endowment's programs for teachers who are already established
in their careers and seeks to increase the effectiveness with which the
humanities are taught by beginning teachers. The initiative is grounded in
the Endowment's conviction that a beginning teacher should possess a
sound general education and a solid understanding of the major ideas,
texts, topics, and issues that comprise the academic disciplines from which
the school curriculum is derived. It is a given that the teacher must be
effective in working with young people. But the teacher must also master
the subject content of a discipline of the humanities as well as the pedagogical
methods necessary for imparting knowledge and skills to students.
A wide range of activities may be proposed. To be successful, an applicant
must demonstrate that the proposed project will enable new and prospective
teachers both to deepen their knowledge of the humanities and to acquire
knowledge and skills that will lead to more effective performance in the
classroom. Where appropriate, an applicant should detail the ways in which
the project will bring together humanities scholars, teacher educators,
experienced schoolteachers, and school administrators in truly collaborative
and sustained activities.
Each application should document the support of the appropriate state
education agency. Such documentation should address both the goals of
the project and the willingness of that body to help attain those goals.
Among other things, prospective teachers who successfully participate in
the project and who satisfy all of the institution's requirements should be
eligible for certification.
In this initiative, Endowment funds may support a variety of costs, pro-
vided that such costs are part of an efficient, realistic plan requiring high
standards of intellectual attainment and professional performance. This
initiative is not intended to provide basic or compensatory support for
ongoing programs that may have been adversely affected by recent state
and local budget decisions.
Applicants interested in this special initiative should call or write the
director of the Division of Education Programs.
Four small colleges joined in a consortium had produced large numbers
of new teachers before the state education department required additional
methods courses that the colleges were unable to offer. The consortium
26 now proposes to develop a model undergraduate curriculum in the
humanities as part of a new program for training teachers for elementary
and secondary schools. With support from the Endowment, the tentative
approval of the state education department, and the cooperation of many
local school districts, the colleges develop a rigorous program in the
humanities based on the systematic study of major texts and topics. At the
same time the colleges design new methods courses that concentrate on
the most effective ways of teaching the humanities to elementary and sec-
ondary school students. Project activities also include a detailed assessment
of the entire program and its impact on the participants. After Endowment
funding ends, this undergraduate humanities curriculum will become an
important part of the consortium's teacher training program.
A state university's college of education collaborates with the college of arts
and sciences to revise the standard required course in the historical,
philosophical, and sociocultural foundations of education. The new, year-
long course will be divided into segments and offered by outstanding arts
and sciences faculty members from the departments of history, philosophy,
and sociology. The course will focus on the works of writers such as Plato,
Rousseau, and Dewey.
C. High School Humanities Institutes at Historically Black
Colleges and Universities
In response to the president's Executive Order 12320 regarding historically
black colleges and universities, the Division of Education Programs has
developed a special High School Humanities Institutes Program. These
four-week summer institutes, held on the campuses of historically black
institutions, are designed to enable promising high school juniors to study
under the direction of scholars and to explore topics in greater depth than
is usually feasible in the high school curriculum.
Up to three institutes for approximately thirty-five students each are
expected to be funded each year. The combination of courses, seminars,
and related activities is left to the applicant institutions; but a principal
criterion for evaluation will be the extent to which the proposed project
identifies able high school juniors and provides them with an intellectually
demanding and rewarding program. Students selected for the summer
institutes will receive a stipend of $200 per week and will be expected to
live on campus for the duration of the institute. Additional information
about the High School Humanities Institutes Program can be obtained by
calling or writing a staff member in the Humanities Instruction in Elemen-
tary and Secondary Schools Program.
D. Summer Workshops for High School and College
Teachers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
In response to the president's Executive Order 12320 regarding historically
black colleges and universities, the Division of Education Programs has also
developed a special Program of Summer Workshops for High School and
College Teachers. These two-week summer workshops are held on the
campuses of historically black institutions, and they are designed both to 27
strengthen humanities instruction at the precollegiate and collegiate levels
and to encourage stronger collaboration between schoolteachers and college
and university faculty.
Each workshop includes ten four-member teams of secondary school
teachers, school administrators, and faculty from historically black colleges
and universities. Workshop activities focus on rigorous study of one of the
humanities disciplines. Under the guidance of the faculty, workshop par-
ticipants develop plans for improving the teaching of that discipline in their
own classes. Follow-up activities usually include in-service presentations,
the development of syllabi and bibliographies, team teaching, and guest
lectures. Only in exceptional instances will the Endowment's contribution
exceed $70,000 for a year's activities. Additional information on the Sum-
mer Workshops for High School and College Teachers Program can be
obtained by calling or writing a staff member in the Humanities Instruction
in Elementary and Secondary Schools Program.
E. The Bicentennial of the Constitution
In anticipation of the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution, the Divi-
sion of Education Programs invites proposals for projects that would better
educate students at any level about the philosophical, literary, historical,
and political origins of the Constitution and the relation of the structure
of the Constitution to American political, social, and intellectual life.
The division particularly welcomes proposals from scholars for the pur-
pose of conducting institutes for secondary school teachers on teaching
about the Constitution. These institutes should provide opportunities for
teachers of history, civics, American civilization, and social studies to learn
more about the history and principles of the Constitution and the nature
of constitutional government. The institutes may be held either in the
summer or during the school year and may employ a variety of formats.
Applicants interested in this special initiative should call or write the Endow-
ment's Office of the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, Room 504, 1 100
Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C 20506; telephone 202/786-
F. The Columbian Quincentenary
In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the voyages of Columbus,
the Division of Education Programs invites proposals for projects that would
enhance humanities education at any level on the historical, political,
philosophical, and cultural ramifications of the voyages of Columbus and
The division will be especially receptive to proposals that bring scholars
and teachers together to explore the larger contexts of the voyages: e.g.,
the medieval and Renaissance cultural assumptions that led to and con-
ditioned the voyages of discovery, the "transatlantic encounters" that re-
sulted from them, and the effects that the voyages have had on the world
since the fifteenth century. Proposals may be submitted under any of the
division's program headings. Applicants who are not certain where to direct
an inquiry about this special initiative should call or write the director of
28 the Division of Education Programs.
Projects designed to strengthen teaching and learning in the humanities
and submitted by nonprofit organizations or institutions are eligible for
consideration for grants. Applicants are encouraged to correspond with
the Endowment staff early in their planning. Applicants should also bear
in mind that eligibility does not ensure that an application will be competitive
in the review process.
The Endowment does not usually provide support for:
• renovation or restoration costs, except in the Challenge Grants Pro-
• museum or library acquisitions, except for modest amounts in the con-
text of projects with other main purposes;
• the preparation of textbooks or other teaching materials usually sup-
ported by a commercial publisher;
• projects that focus on writing skills development, pedagogical theory,
research in educational methods, tests and measurements, cognitive
psychology, or remedial education;
• research undertaken in pursuit of an academic degree;
• individual requests for travel to professional meetings or to conduct
• the purchase of computer equipment;
• the development of instructional computer software, unless such ma-
terials are integral to a project with other main purposes.**
*Small grants for travel to research collections are available from the Endowment's
Division of Fellowships and Seminars. Requests for aid in traveling abroad to inter-
national meetings should be addressed to the American Council of Learned
Societies, which offers a program of small grants for that purpose funded in part
by the Endowment.
**Proposals calling for the development of instructional software must explain why
the desired goals cannot be achieved as effectively by other methods of teaching.
Such proposals must also demonstrate that equivalent materials do not exist which
can be adapted to the applicant's needs at lower cost. And, finally, such proposals
must address the potential for dissemination beyond the institution and the possi-
bility of commercial development of any software developed as part of a project.
For further information, applicants should consult the Endowment's Instructions
for Applicants with Projects Requiring the Use of Automation Technology. 29
VII. The Review Process
Each application is assessed by knowledgeable persons outside the Endow-
ment, who are asked for their judgments about the quality of the proposed
projects. Nearly 1,000 scholars and professionals in the humanities serve
on approximately 1 50 Endowment panels throughout the course of a year.
The judgment of panelists is often supplemented by individual reviews
solicited from specialists who have extensive knowledge of the specific
content of an application.
In the Division of Education Programs, as soon as all the proposals for
a given cycle have arrived, the division designates one or more panels whose
members are familiar with the subjects and types of institutions represented
by the applications. Although no single panel of five or more individuals
can be fully representative of all humanities disciplines and institutional
settings, each of the division's panels is designed to reflect the varied nature
of humanities teaching in the nation's schools and colleges. New panels are
constituted for each cycle of applications; there are no standing panels.
Panelists are asked to read a group of applications, prepare written com-
ments on them, and offer preliminary qualitative judgments several weeks
before the panel convenes. These preliminaryjudgments are then discussed
at the panel meeting, and eventually the staff member chairing the panel
calls for a final recommendation from each panelist who has evaluated a
given proposal. Panelists frequently offer advice for improving projects
recommended for support and for remedying the defects of projects denied
Once the peer review of a cycle of applications is completed, the advice
of the panels and of any outside reviewers who have been asked to evaluate
proposals is assembled by the staff of the Endowment, who comment on
matters of fact or policy or on significant issues that would otherwise be
missing from the review. These materials are then presented to the National
Council on the Humanities, a board of twenty-six individuals appointed by
the president of the United States to advise the chairman of the Endowment
about all applications. The National Council holds two-day meetings four
times each year.
The chairman, taking into account the advice provided by this review
process, makes the final award on each successful application.
VIII. Types of Grant Support
A. Matching Funds
Under the Endowment's current legislation, the chairman of the Endow-
ment is authorized to match, at his discretion, gifts made to NEH or gifts
that are given directly to an applicant when such gifts will be used to support
budgeted project activities during the grant period.
Federal matching funds are awarded on an up to one-for-one basis when
an applicant raises gifts from third parties that will be used to support
project activities during the grant period. The purpose of matching funds
is to stimulate private support for projects in the humanities by offering
donors the incentive of doubling the impact of their gifts. Because matching
funds enable NEH to provide support to a wider range of significant but
often costly projects, institutional applicants are encouraged to consider
requesting complete or partial funding in the form of a matching grant.
Applicants are encouraged to identify potential sources of gift funds at the
time they make application to the Endowment.
Only gifts of money (including the net proceeds from the sale of non-cash
gifts) that will be used to support budgeted project activities during the
grant period are eligible to be matched with federal matching funds. The
source, date of transfer, and amount of the gift or net proceeds from the
sale of a non-cash gift must be documented in the applicant's records. An
unrestricted gift — i.e., a gift to the applicant that is not given specifically
in support of a project — may be certified if the gift will be used to support
project activities during the grant period. A gift to an institution or indi-
vidual associated with a project, which is given specifically in support of
project activities, may be certified by the applicant if the gift funds are
transferred to the applicant and the applicant controls the disbursement
of these funds.
Applicants should note that federally appropriated funds, deferred or
non-cash gifts, income earned from gifts once they are transferred to the
applicant, and income received from any fees for participation in the project
activities are not eligible to be matched with federal funds. To avoid any
possibility of conflict of interest, a gift should not be used to release federal
matching funds when there is the appearance that the donor might benefit
in any way by giving a gift to a particular project. Ineligible donors include
the applicant who will carry out the project, an institution or individual
who is involved in the project activities and who will receive some sort of
remuneration from project funds, and persons living in the same household
with and closely related to the project director if the project director receives
some form of remuneration from the project funds.
B. Outright Funds
An outright grant is one in which the award of Endowment funds is not
contingent on the applicant's raising gifts for the project.
C. Combined Funds
Applicants may request a combination of outright and matching funds
from the Endowment. For example, if a project will cost $85,000 and
$20,000 in gifts will be raised from eligible third parties, the applicant may
request $45,000 in outright funds and $20,000 in matching funds from
the Endowment. It should be noted that, under certain circumstances, the
Endowment may offer total or partial matching support to an applicant
who has requested only outright support.
IX. Cost Sharing
In addition to Endowment funds, project costs can be supported by cash
contributions from the applicant and third parties as well as by third-party
in-kind contributions, such as donated services and goods. These contribu-
tions constitute the applicant organization's cost sharing.
X. Grant Period
The grant period encompasses the entire period for which Endowment
funding is requested in the current application. All project activities and
the expenditure of project funds — i.e., grant funds and cost-sharing con-
tributions — must occur during the grant period.
XI. General Advice
Reviewers ask three basic questions about all eligible applications to the
Endowment: ( 1 ) Does the application present a sound intellectual justifica-
tion for the project? (2) Are the means set forth in the application likely
to be successful in meeting the project's purpose? (3) Are the means pre-
sented in a coherent manner?
Reviewers and panelists dislike jargon, cliches, pedantry, and sloppy
prose. Titles of proposals should be brief, descriptive, and suggestive of
the humanities content of the proposals. Experience suggests that almost
any project can be described fully in twenty-five or fewer double-spaced
pages, with appendices used to provide appropriate illustrative material.
Successful proposals to the Division of Education Programs are usually
written by the persons who will be central to a project if it is funded. A
32 grants office or research office can assist project personnel in handling the
administrative and budgetary procedures involved in the submission of the
proposal; but competitive proposals normally reflect the conception, plans,
commitment, and prose of those who will actually be involved in grant
It is an applicant's obligation to explore other sources of support. These
sources may be used to supplement Endowment grants, if awarded. Appli-
cants are encouraged to consider seeking matching support for all or part
of their projects.
XII. Other Endowment Programs
In addition to the Division of Education Programs, the National Endowment
for the Humanities has other major divisions and offices:
DIVISION OF FELLOWSHIPS AND SEMINARS
Programs in the Division of Fellowships and Seminars afford individual
scholars, teachers, and other interpreters of the humanities opportunities
to undertake full-time study or research for periods ranging from several
weeks to one year. Support is available for independent work and for
seminars that provide for collegial interaction.
DIVISION OF GENERAL PROGRAMS
The Division of General Programs supports projects that increase public
understanding and appreciation of the humanities through television and
radio programs, museums, historical organizations, libraries and other
cultural institutions, civic organizations, and youth organizations. The
division also supports projects that cross divisional boundaries or that do
not fit within other funding categories at the Endowment.
DIVISION OF RESEARCH PROGRAMS
The Division of Research Programs supports interpretive scholarship in
the humanities, the organization and conservation of resources for scholar-
ship, and the preparation of reference works that add to the store of schol-
arly knowledge. Most of the awards made through the division are for
long-term, collaborative projects involving a great diversity of scholarly
activities. The majority of these grants result in published products.
DIVISION OF STATE PROGRAMS
The Division of State Programs makes annual grants to humanities commit-
tees in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.
Virgin Islands. The committees, in turn, regrant these funds to provide
humanities programs at the local level, usually for the general public.
Groups and individuals interested in receiving funds under this program
should apply to state committees directly. 33
OFFICE OF CHALLENGE GRANTS
Through its Office of Challenge Grants, the Endowment supports cultural
institutions and organizations in order to increase their financial stability
and to preserve or improve the quality of humanities programs. Institutions
must raise at least three dollars in new or increased donations from nonfed-
eral sources to receive each federal dollar.
OFFICE OF PRESERVATION
Through its Office of Preservation, the Endowment supports libraries and
other cultural institutions in their efforts to prevent the deterioration of
our nation's repositories of books and manuscripts. For further details
about this program, institutions should call or write the director of the
Office of Preservation.
For more information on any program, write or call
Public Affairs Office
National Endowment for the Humanities, Room 409
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20506
XIII. Application Postmark Deadlines
Central Disciplines in
Humanities Instruction in
Elementary and Secondary
May 15, 1986
January 8, 1987
Colleges and Universities
March 15, 1986
Exemplary Projects in
Humanities Programs for
Staff members are listed here according to the grant programs with which
they are principally affiliated. Every member of the staff is familiar with
all the division's programs, however, and potential applicants may contact
any staff member and be assured that their inquiries will be routed promptly
to the most appropriate program.
Director Pamela Glenn Menke 202/786-0373
Deputy Director John F. Andrews
Central Disciplines in
Undergraduate Education 202/786-0380
Martha A. Crunkleton
Lyn Maxwell White
Humanities Instruction in
Elementary and Secondary Schools
Assistant Director Carolynn Reid-Wallace 202/786-0377
Jayme A. Sokolow
Stephanie Quinn Katz
Thomas Gregory Ward
Exemplary Projects in
Undergraduate and Graduate Education
Assistant Director Sara S. Chapman 202/786-0384
Charles J. Meyers
Humanities Programs for Nontraditional Learners 202/786-0384
The address is: Division of Education Programs, Room 302
National Endowment for the Humanities
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20506
The Code of Federal Regulations, Tide 45, Part 1110, implements provi-
sions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and, along with Title IX
of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, provides that the
National Endowment for the Humanities is responsible for ensuring com-
pliance with and enforcement of public laws prohibiting discrimination
because of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, and age in programs
and activities receiving federal assistance from the National Endowment
for the Humanities. Any person who believes he or she has been discrimi-
nated against in any program, activity, or facility receiving federal assistance
from the Endowment should write immediately to the director, Office of
Equal Opportunity, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1100
Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506.
Note: If a proposed project relates to American Indians, Aleuts, Eskimos,
or native Hawaiian people and artifacts, an applicant should obtain from
the Endowment a copy of its Code of Ethics concerning native Americans.
The code establishes certain standards of conduct in research, publication,
and public programs involving native American peoples.
36 £86-3 *U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1986-491-597/4000 5
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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-URBANA